On 23 March 2016, Regulation (EU) 2015/2424 of the European Parliament and the Council amending the Community trade mark regulation (EUTMR) entered into force. From 1 October 2017 on, changes arising from the EUTMR shall apply along with the new secondary legislation. The main changes can be divided into three groups:
Elimination of the requirement of graphical representation
The graphical representation requirement no longer applies when submitting a trade mark application as from 1 October 2017. This means that, from that date, signs can be represented in any appropriate form using generally available technology, as long as the representation is clear, precise, self-contained, easily accessible, intelligible, durable and objective.
Creation of a new European Union certification trade mark
The EU certification mark is a mark “capable of distinguishing goods or services which are certified by the proprietor of the mark in respect of material, mode of manufacture of goods or performance of services, quality, accuracy or other characteristics, with the exception of geographical origin, from goods and services which are not so certified.” This new type of trademark at EU level will enable certifying institutions to permit the use of the mark as a sign for goods or services complying with the applicable certification requirements.
These changes are mainly technical and relate inter alia to the filing of priority claims and the establishment of acquired distinctiveness during the registration process of an EU trademark. The changes also cover the admissibility and substantiation for relative grounds and now take into account the separate ground on geographic indications introduced by Art. 8 (6) EUTMR.
Moreover, provisions applicable to cancellation proceedings are aligned with opposition proceedings.
Further information on the new EUTM Regulation can be found at EUIPO's website: https://euipo.europa.eu/ohimportal/en/eu-trade-mark-regulation